Foley Catheter (cont.)
During the Procedure
Urinary catheterization kits are sterile. They contain a Foley catheter, water-soluble lubricant jelly, a 10cc syringe with sterile water for the Foley balloon, a sterile drainage bag with sample port and tubing, sterile drapes, sterile gloves, iodine, sterile gauze, sterile specimen cup, and forceps.
- Female catheterization: The female urethra is short compared to the male urethra. It is located above the vagina in the pelvis. Insertion of the catheter is facilitated by having the patient lie down on his or her back with the buttocks at the edge of the examination table. Adequate exposure of the urethra is obtained by elevating and supporting the legs by stirrups or placing them in a frog-legged position. Finally, the labia are separated to expose the urethra.
Picture of Foley catheter, female catheterization.
- Male catheterization: The male urethra is long compared to the female urethra. A catheter is placed while lying down or in the frog-legged position. If there is a foreskin, it is retracted to its maximal limit.
Picture of Foley catheter, male catheterization.
Picture of Foley catheter, completion of Foley catheterization in a male.
- The doctor or medical assistant will insert the Foley catheter in this manner:
- The urethra and the surrounding areas are cleaned with a cotton-ball dipped in antiseptic solution. Beginning at the urethra, the cleansing is performed in a circular motion, moving outward to the surrounding areas.
- A Foley catheter, lubricated with water-soluble jelly, is inserted into the bladder through the urethra.
- Once the catheter is passed, the balloon is in the bladder. It is then slowly inflated with about 10cc of water using a syringe. Inflating the balloon should not be painful.
- At this time, urine, if present in the bladder, should flow back through the catheter and into the sterile drainage bag.
- Drainage bag
- While at the hospital, the urinary drainage bag will be hung to the bedside rail by a hook on the bag.
- If the patient needs to be discharged from the hospital and sent home wearing the Foley catheter, the drainage bag will be replaced with a portable drainage bag (leg bag). Adhesive tape will be used to hold the bag to the calf area.
- Removal of the catheter and bag
- The catheter balloon is deflated by inserting a syringe into the catheter valve and pulling back on the syringe.
- The pressure in the balloon will cause the water to flow into the syringe.
- Once the balloon is empty, the Foley catheter can be pulled out.
Arasi Thangavelu-Veluswamy, MD, FAAEM
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